Ring In the New Year... Again! Celebrate Chinese New Year

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Even though the groundhog promised an early spring, the mountains of snow on campus suggest otherwise. But there’s still ways to beat the winter blues. Chinese New Year began February 3, ringing in the year of the Rabbit and Purchase students can celebrate and score good fortune for the coming year.
 
“Technically it’s the Lunar New Year,” says Amy Chen, a student at SUNY Binghamton. Chen says the holiday isn’t exclusive to China; for example in Japan it’s Japanese New Year.
 
Chinese New Year festivities last for fifteen days, but don’t waste time and hesitate planning a trip.
 
If you’re willing to brave the snow and take advantage of the closeness of New York City by taking the Metro-North and subways, you can make it to Chinatown this Sunday on February 6 for their parade. It starts at 11:30, but be there early to secure your view of the floats and marchers.

 
“They have the dragons,” Chen says, referring to the colorful dragon floats that are moved by people underneath. “Everyone’s wearing red. Boys usually wear blue and everything’s made of silk.”
 
Busy this weekend, but still want to welcome in the year of the Rabbit? Flushing, Queens is like a second Chinatown, and their parade is February 12, starting at 11 am. This isn’t just any parade- they have fireworks in February. Totally awesome.
 
Plus there are other performances and events throughout Flushing. The town hall will feature dances from multiple Asian countries.
 
The China Institute, located just twenty blocks north of Grand Central, is holding a red and gold themed soiree that promises dim sum.
 
If you don’t feel like venturing out of the warm dorms, you can celebrate here. Wear something red, preferably something new! Order from Ming Dynasty or David King’s and have a feast with your friends.
 
On Chinese New Year, traditionally red envelopes with money are given out. And the money has to be new as well.
 
“The money has to be brand new,” Chen says. It should be gotten straight from the bank, and should be “pressed, clean” as opposed to whatever’s floating around in the bottom of your book bag.
 
Of course, college students are usually strapped for cash, but there are other ways to give and partake in getting some good luck for the rest of the year. Oranges and candies are also typical gifts.
 
So throw on your red shirt, indulge in some citrus, and Chinese food and as they say in Mandarin, Gung Hey Fat Choy!

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